The story

John Parker

John Parker


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John Parker was born in Frederick County, Virginia, on 19th May, 1830. He moved to Washington where he found work as a carpenter. He married and became the father of three children.

In 1861 Washington established the Metropolitan Police Force and Parker became one of its 150 officers. Parker was not a success and over the next few years appeared before the Police Board to defend himself against charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, visiting a house of prostitution, firing a pistol through a window, being drunk on duty, being asleep on duty and using abusive and insulting language. Despite several reprimands, Parker kept his job.

On 4th November, 1864, Parker was one of four officers who were assigned to the White House to act as the president's bodyguard. On 14th April, 1865, Parker was due on duty at 4.00 p.m. He arrived three hours late and after receiving another reprimand was sent to the Ford Theatre where he was to guard President Abraham Lincoln during the performance of Our American Cousin .

Parker was detailed to sit on the chair outside the presidential box. From this position he could not see the play and during the first act moved to another part of the theatre. During the intermission Parker left the theatre and went for a drink in a nearby saloon. While he was away John Wilkes Booth, entered Lincoln's box and shot the president in the back of the head.

The evidence suggests that Parker remained in the saloon for the rest of the night and was not seen again until reporting to his police station at 6.00 the next morning with Lizzie Williams, a known prostitute. Parker was charged with neglect of duty. However, surprisingly, the case against Parker was dismissed and he remained in the police force. Parker was eventually fired on 13th August, 1865, when he was found sleeping on duty.

John Parker, who in his later years worked as a carpenter and machinist, died in Washington of pneumonia on 28th June, 1890.

There were many surmises as to who was implicated with J. Wilkes Booth in the assassination of the President. A new messenger had accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln to the theatre on that terrible Friday night. It was the duty of this messenger to stand at the door of the box during the performance, and thus guard the inmates from all intrusion. It appears that the messenger was carried away by the play, and so neglected his duty that Booth gained easy admission to the box. Mrs. Lincoln firmly believed that this messenger was implicated in the assassination plot.

Soon after the assassination Mrs. Lincoln said to him fiercely: "So you are on guard tonight - on guard in the White House after helping to murder the President!"

"Pardon me, but I did not help to murder the President. I could never stoop to murder--much less to the murder of so good and great a man as the President."

"But it appears that you did stoop to murder."

"No, no! don't say that," he broke in. "God knows that I am innocent."

"I don't believe you. Why were you not at the door to keep the assassin out when be rushed into the box?"

"I did wrong, I admit, and I have bitterly repented it, but I did not help to kill the President. I did not believe that any one would try to kill so good a man in such a public place, and the belief made me careless. I was attracted by the play, and did not see the assassin enter the box."

"But you should have seen him. You had no business to be careless. I shall always believe that you are guilty. Hush! I shan't hear another word," she exclaimed, as the messenger essayed to reply. "Go now and keep your watch," she added, with an imperious wave of her hand. With mechanical step and white face the messenger left the room, and Mrs. Lincoln fell back on her pillow, covered her face with her hands, and commenced sobbing.

I have often wondered why the negligence of the guard who accompanied the President to the theatre on the night of the 14th has never been divulged. So far as I know, it was not even investigated by the police department. Had he done his duty, I believe President Lincoln would not have been murdered by Booth. Parker knew he had failed in his duty. He looked like a convicted criminal the next day. He was never the same man afterward.


John Parker

John P. Parker was born in 1827 in Norfolk, Virginia. His father was white and his mother was a black slave. John was sold to a slave agent in 1835 and then sold to a slave caravan which took him to Mobile, Alabama where he was purchased by a physician. Working as a house servant, Parker learned to read and write, often learning alongside of the physician’s sons.

In 1843 John was sent North with the owners sons as they went to attend college. John was soon brought back to Mobile when the physician feared he might escape into the Northern territories. Back in Mobile, Parker worked as an craftsman’s apprentice for an iron manufacturer and learned to be a plasterer. After being abused by one of his bosses, John attempted to escape to New Orleans but was captured trying to flee by a riverboat and was returned to his owner.

Parker eventually became a molder and was transferred to a New Orleans foundry where he was able to do extra work to earn money. This would allow him to purchase his freedom in 1845 for $1,800.00. At this point he moved north to. Indiana and began working in foundries. At the same time he secretly became a conductor on the “Underground Railroad” which eventually helped to smuggle more than 1,000 slaves to escape into free states such as Indiana and Ohio.

In 1848, Parker moved to Beachwood Factory, Ohio where he opened a general store. Six years later he opened a small foundry near Ripley, Ohio which produced special and general castings. The foundry eventually employed more than 25 workers and manufactured slide valve engines and reapers. In 1863 Parker served as a recruiter for the 27th Regiment, U.S Colored troop during the United States Civil War and furnished castings to the war effort.


Police History: Was Officer John Parker at fault for Abraham Lincoln’s death?

Have you ever worked with an officer you could never count on? You know the type — someone who ducks calls, avoids self-initiated activity, and even sleeps or drinks on duty?

These officers are sometimes referred to as ‘POROD’ (Police Officers Retired On Duty), or ‘ROD’ for short. Sadly, one such officer’s career is a long series of missed opportunities to make a real difference.

The most important missed opportunity in law enforcement history may be exclusively owned by a POROD named John Parker.

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Officer John Parker
John Frederick Parker was born in 1830. As a young man he moved to Washington D.C. and worked as a carpenter. In 1861, he joined the newly formed Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. His records revealed that he was a police officer who not only had a knack of getting himself into trouble, but he was also gifted at talking his way out of it.

Charges were filed against him for being off his beat and sleeping on a trolley car. He defended himself by arguing that he had heard the loud quacking of ducks on the trolley as it passed so he hopped aboard to investigate.

In another case he was charged with cavorting with prostitutes while on duty. He explained that when he was sent to enter the “house of ill repute” he had been summoned by a prostitute for police business and because she was giving information it was necessary that this be done in a private room.

Again, charges were dismissed.

On another occasion — when he was accused of being abusive to citizens — charges were sustained.

Presidential Security Detail
President Abraham Lincoln is beloved today, but in life he was hated by millions in the states in rebellion — as well as “Copperhead Democrats” in the North.

Even though he had received many death threats, in August 1864 president was riding alone toward his summer retreat at “The Soldier’s Home.”

He later related that while deep in thought, “I was aroused — I may say the arousement lifted me out of my saddle as well as out of my wits — by the report of a rifle, and seemingly the gunner was not fifty yards from where my contemplations ended and my accelerated transit began.”

President Lincoln lost his hat in the encounter and when it was returned by a soldier it had a bullet hole in its crown.

A 24-hour security detail of four Metropolitan Police Officers was formed in response to this assassination attempt.

Fatefully, that detail included Officer John Fredrick Parker.

April 14, 1865
On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was happier and more relaxed than he had been since his besieged presidency began — General Robert E. Lee had just surrendered, and the war was all but won.

President Lincoln planned a night at the theatre with his wife.

Officer John Parker was assigned to guard the president, but showed up three hours late to relieve the day shift officer. Parker escorted the president and Mrs. Lincoln to Ford’s Theatre where a light-hearted comedy “Our American Cousin” was to be presented.

After the presidential entourage arrived, Parker initially placed himself at the rear entrance to the presidential box.

Anyone who has been to Ford’s Theater during a tourist’s trip to Washington would rightly conclude that if Parker would have held this position — armed with his police pocket revolver — he likely would have thwarted John Wilkes Booth’s assassination plans.

Instead of maintaining his post, Parker drifted out front to watch the play. At one point he even left the theatre altogether to have drinks at the Star Saloon with Lincoln’s footman and coachman.

From there, Parker disappeared into the night.

Shortly after ten o’clock, John Wilkes Booth — one of the most-famous actors of this era — quietly entered the presidential booth unchallenged, and crept up behind the unguarded president with a Derringer in one hand and a Bowie knife in the other.

He waited for a line in the play which he knew always elicited a loud laugh from the audience. The line delivered uproarious laughter, and in the midst of this joy Booth fired a ball into the head of the president at point blank range.

Major Henry Rathbone — unarmed — grappled with Booth, but was seriously wounded by the Bowie knife.

Booth broke free and leapt from the presidential box onto the stage shouting, “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” as he fled.

Parker was absent without leave.

POROD Parker
Parker was later charged with dereliction of duty, but acquitted. No transcript of his internal hearing exists. Parker’s disappearance on that fateful night was not reported to the newspapers of the day, which shielded him from the public wrath.

Remarkably, Parker was kept on the White House security team, protecting the president’s widow. When an inconsolable Mary Lincoln saw that Parker was to be her guard, she became outraged.

According to her dress maker, Mary Lincoln accused Parker of having a role in the murder of her husband.

Parker responded: “… I did wrong. I admit it and have bitterly repented. I did not believe anyone would try to kill so good a man in such a public place and the belief made me careless.”

Parker’s police career ended ignominiously three years after the assassination when he was finally fired for sleeping on duty.

Parker returned to carpentry.

Parker lived all his life internalizing the undeniable truth expressed by William H. Cook, Lincoln’s most trusted guard. Officer Cook observed, “Had [Parker] done his duty, I believe President Lincoln would not have been murdered by Booth.”

Officer John Parker died in 1890 — probably hoping that the failure he could never forget would be forgotten by history. He left behind neither photographs of himself nor a personal account of his actions on that tragic night. Even more telling is the fact that he arranged to be buried in an unmarked grave.

About the author

Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou&rsquos awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. He is a co-author of &ldquoStreet Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,&rdquo which is now available. His novels, &ldquoThe Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,&rdquo &ldquoSWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,&rdquo &ldquoNobody&rsquos Heroes&rdquo and Destiny of Heroes,&rdquo as well as his latest non-fiction offering, &ldquoLaw Dogs, Great Cops in American History,&rdquo are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.


Lincoln’s Missing Bodyguard

When a celebrity-seeking couple crashed a White House state dinner last November, the issue of presidential security dominated the news. The Secret Service responded by putting three of its officers on administrative leave and scrambled to reassure the public that it takes the job of guarding the president very seriously. “We put forth the maximum effort all the time,” said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan.

That kind of dedication to safeguarding the president didn’t always exist. It wasn’t until 1902 that the Secret Service, created in 1865 to eradicate counterfeit currency, assumed official full-time responsibility for protecting the president. Before that, security for the president could be unbelievably lax. The most astounding example was the scant protection afforded Abraham Lincoln on the night he was assassinated. Only one man, an unreliable Washington cop named John Frederick Parker, was assigned to guard the president at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.

Today it’s hard to believe that a single policeman was Lincoln’s only protection, but 145 years ago the situation wasn’t that unusual. Lincoln was cavalier about his personal safety, despite the frequent threats he received and a near-miss attempt on his life in August 1864, as he rode a horse unescorted. He’d often take in a play or go to church without guards, and he hated being encumbered by the military escort assigned to him. Sometimes he walked alone at night between the White House and the War Department, a distance of about a quarter of a mile.

John Parker was an unlikely candidate to guard a president—or anyone for that matter. Born in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1830, Parker moved to Washington as a young man, originally earning his living as a carpenter. He became one of the capital’s first officers when the Metropolitan Police Force was organized in 1861. Parker’s record as a cop fell somewhere between pathetic and comical. He was hauled before the police board numerous times, facing a smorgasbord of charges that should have gotten him fired. But he received nothing more than an occasional reprimand. His infractions included conduct unbecoming an officer, using intemperate language and being drunk on duty. Charged with sleeping on a streetcar when he was supposed to be walking his beat, Parker declared that he’d heard ducks quacking on the tram and had climbed aboard to investigate. The charge was dismissed. When he was brought before the board for frequenting a whorehouse, Parker argued that the proprietress had sent for him.

In November 1864, the Washington police force created the first permanent detail to protect the president, made up of four officers. Somehow, John Parker was named to the detail. Parker was the only one of the officers with a spotty record, so it was a tragic coincidence that he drew the assignment to guard the president that evening. As usual, Parker got off to a lousy start that fateful Friday. He was supposed to relieve Lincoln’s previous bodyguard at 4 p.m. but was three hours late.

Lincoln’s party arrived at the theater at around 9 p.m. The play, Our American Cousin, had already started when the president entered his box directly above the right side of the stage. The actors paused while the orchestra struck up “Hail to the Chief.” Lincoln bowed to the applauding audience and took his seat.

Parker was seated outside the president’s box, in the passageway beside the door. From where he sat, Parker couldn’t see the stage, so after Lincoln and his guests settled in, he moved to the first gallery to enjoy the play. Later, Parker committed an even greater folly: At intermission, he joined the footman and coachman of Lincoln’s carriage for drinks in the Star Saloon next door to Ford’s Theatre.

John Wilkes Booth entered the theater around 10 p.m.. Ironically, he’d also been in the Star Saloon, working up some liquid courage. When Booth crept up to the door to Lincoln’s box, Parker’s chair stood empty. Some of the audience may not have heard the fatal pistol shot, since Booth timed his attack to coincide with a scene in the play that always sparked loud laughter.

No one knows for sure if Parker ever returned to Ford’s Theatre that night. When Booth struck, the vanishing policeman may have been sitting in his new seat with a nice view of the stage, or perhaps he had stayed put in the Star Saloon. Even if he had been at his post, it’s not certain he would have stopped Booth. “Booth was a well-known actor, a member of a famous theatrical family,” says Ford’s Theatre historical interpreter Eric Martin. “They were like Hollywood stars today. Booth might have been allowed in to pay his respects. Lincoln knew of him. He’d seen him act in The Marble Heart, here in Ford’s Theatre in 1863.”

A fellow presidential bodyguard, William H. Crook, wouldn’t accept any excuses for Parker. He held him directly responsible for Lincoln’s death. “Had he done his duty, I believe President Lincoln would not have been murdered by Booth,” Crook wrote in his memoir. “Parker knew that he had failed in duty. He looked like a convicted criminal the next day.” Parker was charged with failing to protect the president, but the complaint was dismissed a month later. No local newspaper followed up on the issue of Parker’s culpability. Nor was Parker mentioned in the official report on Lincoln’s death. Why he was let off so easily is baffling. Perhaps, with the hot pursuit of Booth and his co-conspirators in the chaotic aftermath, he seemed like too small a fish. Or perhaps the public was unaware that a bodyguard had even been assigned to the president.

Incredibly, Parker remained on the White House security detail after the assassination. At least once he was assigned to protect the grieving Mrs. Lincoln before she moved out of the presidential mansion and returned to Illinois. Mrs. Lincoln’s dressmaker, former slave Elizabeth Keckley, recalled the following exchange between the president’s widow and Parker: “So you are on guard tonight,” Mrs. Lincoln yelled, “on guard in the White House after helping to murder the President.”

“I could never stoop to murder,” Parker stammered, “much less to the murder of so good and great a man as the President. I did wrong, I admit, and have bitterly repented. I did not believe any one would try to kill so good a man in such a public place, and the belief made me careless.”

Mrs. Lincoln snapped that she would always consider him guilty and ordered him from the room. Some weeks before the assassination, she had written a letter on Parker’s behalf to exempt him from the draft, and some historians think she may have been related to him on her mother’s side.

Parker remained on the Metropolitan Police Force for three more years, but his shiftlessness finally did him in. He was fired on August 13, 1868, for once again sleeping on duty. Parker drifted back into carpentry. He died in Washington in 1890, of pneumonia. Parker, his wife and their three children are buried together in the capital’s Glenwood Cemetery—on present-day Lincoln Road. Their graves are unmarked. No photographs have ever been found of John Parker. He remains a faceless character, his role in the great tragedy largely forgotten.


Elder John Parker

Elder John Parker (1758�) was an American settler and Predestinarian Baptist minister who immigrated to Texas before the Texas Revolution. He was killed during the Fort Parker massacre in 1836, along with several members of his family, and others of the "Parker clan".

Parker was born on September 6, 1758 in Baltimore County, Maryland. His family moved to Virginia while Parker was young, and in 1777, at age nineteen, he left home to fight in the American Revolution. Two years later, in November 1779, he married Sarah "Sallie" White before returning to war. After returning home in Virginia, the Parkers' first child, Daniel Parker, was born on April 6, 1781. Other children soon followed.

About 1785, Parker moved his family to Georgia in search of opportunities for a better life. In 1803, he once again moved the family, including Sallie, eight children, Daniel's wife, Martha "Patsey" Dickerson, and their daughter. They settled near Nashboro (present Nashville), Tennessee. By 1817, their family had grown to eleven children, many of whom had married and had children of their own. The family then moved to Illinois.

In 1824, Sallie died, and in 1825, Parker married the widow Sarah "Sallie" Duty, who had several daughters who had married into the Parker clan. At age seventy-five, Parker and most of his family moved to Texas in 1833.

During 1835, some of Parker's sons built a fort on the head-waters of the Navasota River, near present Groesbeck in Limestone County, Texas. Parker's Fort was built as protection for the families who all had land grants located on the frontier of what was then called the Comancheria.

On May 19, 1836, Parker and other members of the Parker clan were killed at the Fort Parker Massacre. He was initially captured and died after his genitals were removed and he was scalped. His wife was seriously wounded but eventually recovered.

He was grandfather of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the famous Chief of the Comanches - Quanah Parker.

Birth: Sep. 15, 1758 Maryland, USA Death: May 19, 1836 Limestone County Texas, USA

Founder of Fort Parker. He helped build the Parker Fort where he was one of the five that was killed during the Indian raid. He is buried under an oak tree in a mass grave approximately one and one half miles from the fort. Today, the area is known as the Fort Parker Memorial Park, and many relatives of the families are interred there too. (bio by: Helen L. Smith Hoke)

  1. Daniel Parker (1781 - 1844)*
  2. John Parker (1782 - 1831)*
  3. Mary Jane Parker Kendrick (1785 - 1846)*
  4. Benjamin F.W. Parker (1788 - 1836)*
  5. Isaac Parker (1793 - 1883)*
  6. Phoebe Parker Anglin (1796 - 1863)*
  7. James William Parker (1797 - 1864)*
  8. Nathaniel Parker (1799 - 1855)*
  9. Silas Mercer Parker (1804 - 1836)*
  10. Susannah Parker Starr (1807 - 1875)*

Burial: Fort Parker Memorial Park Groesbeck Limestone County Texas, USA Plot: Mass Grave

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Created by: Helen L. Smith Hoke Record added: May 12, 2003 Find A Grave Memorial# 7433560

The Fort Parker massacre was an event in 1836 in which members of the pioneer Parker family were killed in a raid by Native Americans.Today these peoples are variously denominated Native Americans, First Americans, First Nation, and American Indians. On the Texas frontier in 1836, they would have simply been designated Indians.

Fort Parker was founded about two miles (3 km) west of present-day Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas, USA by ElderElder - an ordained Baptist minister John Parker (1758�), his sons, Benjamin, Silas and James, plus other members of the Pilgrim Predestinarian Baptist Church of Crawford County, Illinois. Led by John and Daniel Parker, they came to Texas in 1833."The descendants of Elder John Parker were a strange and often brilliant family who may have changed the course of Texas and western history. Their obsession with religion and their desire for land took them from Virginia to Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois and finally Texas. From their line. came. Quanah Parker, last of the great Comanche war chiefs - and first of their great peace leaders." - Jo Ann Powell Exley Daniel's party first settled in Grimes County, then later moved to Anderson County near present-day Elkhart. Elder John Parker's group settled near the headwaters of the Navasota River, and built a fort for protection against Native Americans. It was completed in March of 1834. Fort Parker's 12 foot (4 m) high log walls enclosed four acres (16,000 m²). Blockhouses were placed on two corners for lookouts, and six cabins were attached to the inside walls. The fort had two entrances, a large double gate facing south, and a small gate for easy access to the spring.Fort Parker State Park was created in 1935, and a replica of the fort was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 Most of the residents of the fort were part of the extended family of John and Sarah (Duty) Parker.

Soon the settlers were making their homes and farming the land. Several had built cabins on their farms, and used the fort for protection. Peace treaties were made with surrounding Native American chiefs. Perhaps the Fort Parker inhabitants expected that other tribes would honor the treaties as well.

On May 19, 1836, a large party of Native Americans, including Comanches, Kiowas, Caddos, and Wichitas,various stories relate differences in the size of the raiding party and the makeup of the tribes attacked the inhabitants of Fort Parker. Around mid-morning, riders appeared under a white flag, and Benjamin Parker went out to talk to them. He was killed, and before the fort's gates could be closed, the raiders rushed inside. Five were killed, some were left for dead, two women and three children were captured, and the rest escaped into the wilderness.killed were Samuel Frost, Robert Frost, Benjamin Parker, John Parker, and Silas Parker captured were Elizabeth Kellogg, Cynthia Ann Parker, John R. Parker, Rachel Plummer, and James Pratt Plummer One of the captives was a nine-year-old girl, Cynthia Ann Parker, daughter of Silas and Lucinda (Duty) Parker. Cynthia Ann lived with the Comanches for nearly 25 years. She married Comanche chief Peta Nocona and was the mother of three children, including Quanah Parker. In 1860, she was among a Native American party captured by Texas Rangers. She was identified by her uncle, Isaac Parker, and returned to her family. Cynthia Ann never readjusted to the Anglo society, and died at the age of 43 in 1870. Quanah Parker became a leader among the Quahadi Comanches. After most of the Comanches and other tribes on the Staked Plains were defeated, Quanah Parker and his group surrendered to authorities and was forced to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma Territory. He was made chief of all the Comanche tribes on the reservation.

Fort Parker inhabitants on May 19, 1836

Elder John Parker and 2nd wife, Sarah Duty

Benjamin Parker James W. Parker and wife, Martha (Patsey) Duty Rachel Parker and husband, L. T. M. Plummer James Pratt Plummer Sarah Parker and husband, Lorenzo Nixon James Wilson Parker another son of James & Martha Silas Parker and wife, Lucinda Duty Cynthia Ann Parker John Richard Parker Silas Parker, Jr. Orlena Parker Elisha Anglin Abram Anglin Seth Bates Silas Bates G. E. Dwight and wife Dwight children David Faulkenberry Evan Faulkenberry Samuel Frost and wife Robert Frost other Frost children Elizabeth Duty Kellogg (dau. of Sarah Duty Parker) Oliver Lund

Children currently associated but unproven are:

  1. Moses Parker born 1744.
  2. Daniel Parker born 1750
  3. Elder John Parker born 1758,
  4. Susannah Parker born 1762-64 died 1816 Estill County, KY. married John Haughettee, Estill County, KY.
  5. Francis Parker .

Founder of Fort Parker. He helped build the Parker Fort where he was one of the five that were killed during the Indian raid. He is buried under an oak tree in a mass grave approximately one and one half miles from the fort. Today, the area is known as the Fort Parker Memorial Park, and many relatives of the families are interred there, too. (bio by: Helen L. Smith Hoke)

Founder of Fort Parker. He helped build the Parker Fort where he was one of the five that was killed during the Indian raid. He is buried under an oak tree in a mass grave approximately one and one half miles from the fort. Today, the area is known as the Fort Parker Memorial Park, and many relatives of the families are interred there too.


Parker, John (1830&ndash1915)

John Parker, Indian captive, son of Lucinda (Duty) and Silas M. Parker, was born in 1830. In 1836 he and his sister, Cynthia Ann Parker, were captured by Comanche Indians at Fort Parker. James W. Parker, his uncle, made three trips in three years into the Indian country in an effort to rescue the captives. The Texas legislature, in 1845, appropriated $300 for John Parker's rescue, but the money was never used, as Parker was not located until he was grown, and he would not then return to Texas. He grew to manhood among the Indians and while on a raiding party with them in Mexico fell in love with a Mexican girl named Donna Juanita. She accompanied him back to Texas and nursed him back to health after the Indians abandoned him on the Llano Estacado when he became sick with smallpox. Parker then refused to rejoin the Indians but went to Mexico and became a stockman and rancher. He served in a Mexican company in the Confederate Army during the Civil War but refused to cross the Sabine River. After the war he returned to his family in Mexico, where he lived until 1915.


NOTES

Birth: Sep. 15, 1758 Maryland, USA Death: May 19, 1836 Limestone County, Texas, USA

Founder of Fort Parker. He helped build the Parker Fort where he was one of the five that was killed during the Indian raid. He is buried under an oak tree in a mass grave approximately one and one half miles from the fort. Today, the area is known as the Fort Parker Memorial Park, and many relatives of the families are interred there too. (bio by: Helen L. Smith Hoke)

Family links: Spouses: Sarah Pinson Parker (1758 - 1836)* Sarah White Parker (1759 - 1824)*

Children: Daniel Parker (1781 - 1844)* John Parker (1783 - 1832)* Mary Jane Parker Kendrick (1785 - 1846)* Benjamin F.W. Parker (1788 - 1836)* Phebe Parker Hassell (1790 - 1852)* Isacc Parker (1793 - 1883)* Phoebe Parker Anglin (1796 - 1863)* James William Parker (1797 - 1864)* Nathaniel Parker (1799 - 1855)* Silas Mercer Parker (1804 - 1836)* Susannah Parker Starr (1807 - 1875)*

Burial: Fort Parker Memorial Park Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas, USA Plot: Mass Grave

Maintained by: ScottNicholson Originally Created by: Helen L. Smith Hoke Record added: May 12, 2003 Find A Grave Memorial# 7433560


John P. Parker House

The John P. Parker House was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. It is located in Ripley, Ohio, and the home currently is a museum owned by the John P. Parker Historical Society.

John Parker was born a slave. In 1845, he purchased his freedom and eventually made his way to Indiana and Ohio, settling in Ripley in 1850. He opened an iron foundry and eventually purchased a brick home. Parker also became active in the Underground Railroad, commonly traveling across the Ohio River and helping fugitive slaves from Kentucky escape to the North. Parker routinely took the fugitives to John Rankin, another abolitionist who resided in Ripley. Rankin hid the fugitives from slavery and assisted them in their journey further north. During the American Civil War, Parker served as a recruiter for the 27th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops. With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the end of slavery in 1865, Parker devoted his energies to his foundry business.

Since the late 1990s, the John P. Parker Historical Society has owned the Parker House. This organization has diligently worked to preserve the home. The John P. Parker Historical Society has also formed alliances with numerous other educational and preservationist groups to educate people about the Underground Railroad and John Parker's role in it. Since 2002, the society has opened the home to visitors.


African History: A Very Short Introduction

The "Very Short Introduction" series of Oxford University Press offers readers the opportunity to expand their knowledge in many directions. African history is a subject I know little about but was interested to explore in this "very short introduction" written in 2007 by John Parker, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Richard Rathbone, Honorary Professor of History, University of Aberystwth.

The authors state at African History In The Very Short Introduction Series

The "Very Short Introduction" series of Oxford University Press offers readers the opportunity to expand their knowledge in many directions. African history is a subject I know little about but was interested to explore in this "very short introduction" written in 2007 by John Parker, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Richard Rathbone, Honorary Professor of History, University of Aberystwth.

The authors state at the outset that their "very short introduction" is less a chronological history of Africa than a meditation upon the various ways that the African past has been thought about or imagined. Parker and Rathbone point to several difficulties in writing a straightforward historical account. In a short compass, it would be difficult to provide a history of a continent and its people over the course of over 5,000 years. During much of this time, the written historical record is scant at best. And the Africa of today includes more than 50 separate countries. The deeper question the authors raise is the sense in which Africa can be said to have a history at all, what it includes, and how it is to be researched and written. These latter themes pervade the book. The authors are careful and cautious in their approach but on one occasion they suggest the discipline forms part of "the so-called 'cultural-linguistic turn' in the humanities associated with postmodernism". I would have considerable reluctance exploring a subject exclusively or primarily through postmodernist eyes with their biases and relativisms.

The early chapters of the book, in particular, explore the difficulties of exploring African history in terms of understanding the continent, particularly the distinction between the portions north and south of the Sahara desert and the large African diaspora. The authors raise hard questions about unity and diversity in the context of African peoples, and they question the idea of "tribalism" through which many people tend to view Africa. In a chapter titled "historical sources", the authors describe the difficulties of historical study in the absence of a written record. They discuss various alternatives to written records and they insightfully compare the differences between historical study and the types of study by cultural anthropology.

The book examines four large trends in African history in considering the role of "Africa in the world": religion, in particular the competing and almost equally-divided influences of Islam and Christianity, the slave trade, the African diaspora, and the large changes in the 19th Century resulting from European expansionism. These discussions, particular of the former two trends, are brief but highly suggestive.

There is large evidentiary material on the long history of slavery in Africa. Following the years of the slave trade, African history is documented through the age of colonialism, the end of colonialism, and the following and ongoing difficult paths towards self-government and economic growth of the African nations. While it briefly explores this large, complex history, the book is almost equally concerned with historiography -- the way in which historians in and outside of Africa conceived the nature of African history and set about writing it. The authors suggest that this history has changed and will continue to change as the needs continent and its people change. Various tensions in the nature of historical study of the sort the authors describe are not particular to Africa but are common to the enterprise. There undoubtedly also are factors that are particular to African history.

This "very short introduction" thus is more a combination of history, historiography, and the philosophy of history than a historical account. It proceeds at a high level of sophistication for an introductory book. The book includes an annotated bibliography for further reading together with an unusually large number of photographs which help to particularize the text amidst the abstractions. The book will be of most value to readers with a background in historical study (of other places or times) and, of course, to readers wanting to learn about Africa. The book made me want to learn more about Africa and its peoples and thus, for me, it succeeded in its goal.

African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #160), John Parker

This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa&aposs past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #160), John Parker

This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. . more

Parker provides a meta-narrative of Africa and its peoples, focusing more on the historiography of the continent than anything else. The book spends the majority of the time exploring the tensions between revisionist, post-revisionist views of historical events. He reminds us, incessantly, of the importance of broaching the subject of African history with extreme care. Our lens, dictates the narrative too euro-centric?, afro-centric?, reactionary?, constructivist?, post-modern constructivist? E Parker provides a meta-narrative of Africa and its peoples, focusing more on the historiography of the continent than anything else. The book spends the majority of the time exploring the tensions between revisionist, post-revisionist views of historical events. He reminds us, incessantly, of the importance of broaching the subject of African history with extreme care. Our lens, dictates the narrative too euro-centric?, afro-centric?, reactionary?, constructivist?, post-modern constructivist? Etc. While I personally found this approach to make for seriously onerous reading, I must say it isn’t entirely un-useful, however it was not what I was expecting. Admittedly, perhaps it was somewhat foolish of me to have expected a concise historical account of an entire continent in a book of this size. Parker certainly poses some big questions and arguably sets the stage for delving into ‘actual’ African history. In that sense, the book might be seen as an adequate preliminary historical text.

The crux of Parker’s point can be made in one of the book’s closing pages. Frankly, you could spare yourself the slog had he just put this at the beginning and left it at that.
“Is there, then such a thing as African history, or is there just history, as it happened to unfold on the continent called Africa?”

(P.S. I still don’t fucking know)
. more

This isn&apost a substantial history of Africa - it&aposs an introduction to the topic of African history, as it is studied, used, and the issues surrounding it.

There are a few main issues that stood out to me:

1. What is Africa? Does it include the African diaspora? (One of the interesting things was that one of the main schools of African history was located in America.) Even on mainland Africa, there was a distinction between South Africa and North Africa (with the Sahara perhaps being the dividing li This isn't a substantial history of Africa - it's an introduction to the topic of African history, as it is studied, used, and the issues surrounding it.

There are a few main issues that stood out to me:

1. What is Africa? Does it include the African diaspora? (One of the interesting things was that one of the main schools of African history was located in America.) Even on mainland Africa, there was a distinction between South Africa and North Africa (with the Sahara perhaps being the dividing line), with North Africa perhaps culturally, historically, and even geographically being closer to the Mediterranean world as it was part of Africa.

2. The issue of how the environment may have shaped development - that is, "environmental determinism", with "no milieu being deemed to be more enervating than the equatorial forest. Primeval, impenetrable, monotonous, and above all, dark, 'the jungle' was seen to have bed the most extreme primitiveness".

3. The construction of history and state building.

The passage then goes on to talk about early African towns, but I found it intriguing that the hallmark of civilisation was state building.

We also cover 'acephalous' (headless) societies where the society functions without a ruler that can be identified. Authority was instead vested in representatives of segments - e.g. families, clan, age groups, etc.

4. We also cover remote societies - and I loved the observation that:

But living in the depths of the equatorial rain forest, as did the 'pygmies' of the Ituri region of the present-day Democratic Republic of Congo, or in desert areas, like the San (or 'Bushmen') of the Kalahari in southern Africa, was seldom the result of accident. Isolation was frequently either the outcome of strategies devised by people unwilling to risk repeated predation by better-armed, hostile outsiders, or the consequence of being driven into marginal ecologies by more powerful peoples' capacity to confiscate richer arable land, pasture, or hunting grounds. Despite the 'new age' tendency to romanticize the San way of life, admittedly a brilliant adaptation to one of the harshest environments on the planet, most San would almost certainly have settled for a softer existence.

But recent research has shown that Africa's many decentralised societies were as much the products of historical forces as its great kingdoms - including active resistance on the part of independent frontiersmen and -women to would-be state-builders. As we have seen with the Middle Niger, independent communities and cultures often persevered as predatory states rose and fell.

5. Diversity & Identity - the sheer volume of diversity in African history, as well as the continuing process of borrowing from each other's culture as well as subordination or cultural exchange.

On the identity front, I loved the observation on how membership in certain classes can affect definitions of personal identity.

6. On the historical front about slavery: there's talk about the Atlantic slave trade (to the Americas) and the Muslim trade (from South Africa to North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East). I was not aware of the latter - in this aspect, the slaves were usually destined for "domestic servitude, including concubinage".

There's also talk about the involvement of African societies in the slave trade as well, though the degree of emphasis is less mentioned in modern coverage. As the author mentions: "Rather, the problem is that by stressing African agency, it becomes all too easy to lose sight of the fact that the majority of Africans involved in the making of the Atlantic world were victims."

7. Colonialism in Africa - that despite the continent officially being colonised, the real fact of the matter was the "colonial armies and bureaucracies were tiny, and huge swathes of territory remained outside any effective control." (Of course, there were still rebellions.) This resulted in diverse systems of colonial control, of which Africans participated to varying extents.

This is a good overview, and the author was able to bring out the academic threads and issues well. . more

It is said that until the hunted put pen to paper, tell their stories, the stories of the hunt will continue to glorify the hunter. This statement, on the surface, although with general application to the entirety of the African continent quickly generates rebuttals in the mind of the informed reader. Does Rameses II, eulogised by the poet, Shelley as “Ozymandias, King of Kings ” really qualify as “hunted”? Do any of the great African empires? Perhaps the quote should be restricted to the parts It is said that until the hunted put pen to paper, tell their stories, the stories of the hunt will continue to glorify the hunter. This statement, on the surface, although with general application to the entirety of the African continent quickly generates rebuttals in the mind of the informed reader. Does Rameses II, eulogised by the poet, Shelley as “Ozymandias, King of Kings ” really qualify as “hunted”? Do any of the great African empires? Perhaps the quote should be restricted to the parts of Africa long believed to have been stuck in stasis out of history, until the caravels of the Portuguese arrived. That too does not satisfy: what is one to make of the pilgrimage of Mansa Musa or Askiya Muhammad? or the tarikhs of the Sudanese States? The chronicles and works of philosophy penned in Ge’ez by the Ethiopian clerics, does that not qualify as history?

The above is a snippet of the arguments which have long roiled the discipline of history, specifically, the history of Africa. This book does not aim to settle these debates nor does it, in this reviewer’s opinion grapple fully with the questions it raises. It, in the best tradition of the Oxford “Very Short Introduction” series, aims to provide a stimulating introduction to the subject for the general reader. It does not aim to be the final word on the subject—a doubtful project in any case. In the authors’ words, this book aims to “reflect upon the changing ways that the African past has been imagined and represented ”.

The authors trace the emergence of the idea of Africa across seven engaging chapters. They manage manfully that fine balance between granting you insight into the subject and leaving you thirsting to master it. Questions of identity on the continent, its history and historiography are covered masterfully the authors’ choices left me with observations and perhaps, as intended, questions and disagreements.

Of the continent’s seven continents, only Europe emerged out of an act of self-conception. Everywhere else, in the words of the philosopher, V.Y. Mudimbe were “fashioned by non-Africans as a paradigm of difference” . The authors quote Mudimbe in tacit agreement I disagree. Acceding to the premise grants logical consistency to another assertion made by the authors. They state that the history of Africa ought to include “diasporic communities beyond Africa” . With that too, I disagree.

My countervailing assertion is that the history of Africa is the history of events on the continent of Africa. Nothing more, nothing less. Although the historiography of the discipline has advanced farther than his focus on international politics, historians of Africa would do well to heed Leopold von Ranke’s words that history aim as much as possible, to show things as they were.
Engaging properly with von Ranke’s dictum would involve taking a scalpel to certain assumptions which have long driven the discipline. First would be, as I alluded to, the acceptance of boundaries: diaspora history is worth studying but it is not “African history”, any more than Norman history is Danish history or Brazilian history is Portuguese history. That they mesh in parts is unavoidable but always, it must be borne in mind that they are separate.

Second, the discipline ought to do more to situate itself in a global historical conversation, seeking to answer questions like, what role did African gold play in the wider medieval economy? Did crusading motivations drive Sultan Mansur in his invasion of Songhay?

Finally, and to its credit, the book tackles this issue bravely, Africanists must realise that ultimately, what they are doing is looking to puzzle out the past of Homo Sapiens in Africa. As a single species, humanity share attributes, cruelty for one. While detailing the effects of human cruelty, the nuance of the relationship between the two continents ought not to be reduced to black and white.

The expanse of the continent and the fact of the origins of homo sapiens and some of the earliest civilisations can tend to obscure the fact that historical study of the continent in its entirety is a relatively recent endeavour fraught with challenges. As the authors note:

"Fifty years ago, in the mid-1950s, the notion of ‘African history’ barely existed. Beyond the speculative writings of a few African American intellectuals, the collections of oral traditions published by mission-educated Africans, and a handful of equally obscure translations of old Arabic chronicles, there was little or no scholarly engagement with the history of the continent. The study of Africa was dominated by the discipline of social anthropology, whose practitioners, if often highly sympathetic to African cultures, tended to portray them as timeless and unchanging. That part of the continent that did possess an established literate culture and therefore a recoverable past, the area to the north of the Sahara desert, was generally considered to belong more to the Mediterranean or the Arab world than to ‘black Africa’ to the south. Africa, in short, was deemed to be a realm apart, a continent without a history and whose future progress rested upon the continuation of European trusteeship."

Messrs Parker and Rathbone have produced an excellent survey introduction bound to attract interest from lay-readers while correcting misconceptions about both the continent and its historical study to boot. My critiques of the overall position along which they frame the thesis of the work ought not to distract from the fact that this is a superb work of history and a credit to the scholarship of its authors. Nonetheless, specialists will be quick to spot lacunae: the long-standing trading connection with Asia is skipped over, local political institutions are not critically examined and the foraging populations of the continent get short shrift.

This excellent book will no doubt inspire more to tackle the field’s myriad challenges in the service of universal scholarship.


The night Lincoln was assassinated, his new bodyguard went missing

At the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had no illusions about the frequent threats to kill him.

On the afternoon of April 14, 1865 — five days after the South surrendered — he told one of his bodyguards, William Crook, “I have perfect confidence in those who are around me, in every one of your men … But if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it.”

That night, the 56-year-old Lincoln went to see a play at Ford’s Theatre under the watch of a new guard, a D.C. police officer named John Frederick Parker. Parker’s dereliction of duty helped change U.S. history.

Ironically, on this same day, Lincoln signed legislation to create the Secret Service — not to protect the president, but to combat counterfeiting. He was guarded round-the-clock by one member of a four-man security unit.

The 35-year-old Parker was an odd choice for this prestigious assignment. He had a record of unreliability, including drinking and frequenting a “house of ill repute” while on duty, according to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

Confederate sympathizers were everywhere in the capital. One of them was the famous 26-year-old actor John Wilkes Booth, who that day went to Ford’s Theatre to pick up his mail. The news was that Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant planned to attend that evening’s Good Friday performance of the popular comedy “Our American Cousin.”

Lincoln wasn’t keen about going that night but didn’t want to disappoint the public. Grant and his wife decided to visit their children in New Jersey. So Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, invited Clara Harris and her fiance, Maj. Henry Rathbone, to join them. Parker reported for duty three hours late and was sent ahead to Ford’s Theatre.

The presidential carriage got off to a late start. The play had begun when Lincoln and his party entered the theater well after 8 p.m. They went to a special presidential box above the right side of the stage. The actors stopped, and the crowd stood and cheered as the orchestra played “Hail to the Chief.”

Parker had been provided a chair outside the door to the box in a passageway. But he couldn’t see the play and soon moved into the audience. At intermission, he went to the Star Saloon next door. Whether he returned to the theater is still a mystery.


Watch the video: ατζινάβωτο φέγι - ο τζον (July 2022).


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